January 10, 2022
State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Issues Statement in Response to Governor Newsom’s Proposed 2022 Education Budget
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond today issued the following statement in response to Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed education budget for the fiscal year 2022–23:
“This once-in-a-lifetime pandemic has created extraordinary challenges for our students, families, and educators. We must now meet those challenges and continue to transform California schools. The Governor’s proposed budget will almost triple the amount of per-pupil investment from a decade ago and will allow the state to address historic inequities, learning loss, and the social-emotional needs of our students. I want to thank the Governor for the attention and focus on our students and schools in a time when we need all the resources possible to help students heal, recover, and thrive.
“As with last year, California continues to need increased investments in mental health to address the severe trauma our students have experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic, which we know will have a lasting impact on their ability to learn and succeed through the rest of their lives. The Governor’s budget proposal aligns with and reflects many of the CDE's priorities and my priorities.
“Many are calling for action to address a growing youth mental health crisis nationally. I've proposed a plan to recruit 10,000 new clinicians to provide for the mental health needs of California students. The plan centers on offering scholarships to encourage candidates to pursue careers in the mental health profession and serve in high-need schools and communities. I will sponsor legislation to help accomplish this investment as part of the Governor’s proposed emergency response package.
“In addition to addressing student mental health, now is the time in California public education when we have all the resources and conditions in place to make good on a promise of closing the achievement gap by helping all students reach literacy by third grade, a key benchmark in measuring and predicting student success. When students don’t learn to read by third grade, they are at greater risk to drop out of school and end up in the criminal justice system, so we must give them resources now to put them on a path for lifelong learning. CDE’s newly formed literacy task force and initiative are working to ensure that all students can read by third grade by the year 2026 and to support the Governor’s proposed historic investment in literacy and biliteracy.
“These plans are just some of the many programs and strategies underway to help transform education in California schools. Governor Newsom’s proposed budget will allow us build on our work to meaningfully transform our schools. It’s not just about making our schools safe, but improving the quality of education by addressing and investing in the whole child. Today’s budget proposal is a strong start at tackling the growing access and learning gaps experienced most severely among our students of color, low-income households, children with disabilities, and bilingual students.
“We are excited for significant financial investments that translate into improvements for all our students in and out of the classroom. This proposed budget will build upon the 2021–22 budget and trailer bills that included interconnected and historic investments that move forward universal access to school meals for all students, universal preschool, and after-school expanded learning programs, such as the Expanded Learning Opportunities Program—all critical areas in ensuring equitable opportunities for California’s students.“I applaud the Governor for proposing a budget that would allocate the highest Proposition 98 investment in California history. I look forward to working with Governor Newsom, the Legislature, and our education partners to meet the goals laid out in this budget proposal.”
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Tony Thurmond —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100